the next four years
I doubt I am alone right now. Just one of millions of non-U.S. citizens pounding various election result webpages (e.g. the BBC and CNN), hoping to find out that Kerry has won. I’ve been following the voting histories, predictions and pre-election polls, and on the basis of that the results so far (Bush ahead 211 to 188, with the important swing states still to declare) are not that surprising - no states have change hands yet. The fact that the outcome depends on so few states is a little depressing, and one wonders what on earth Bush would have had to have done to earn the wrath of the people. Having said that, the relatively high turnout is very welcome indication that perhaps the U.S. public is taking this election as seriously as the rest of the world.
This CNN Exit Poll Survey is quite interesting, breaking down the vote by various social and economic factors. The sample size is admittedly fairly small (11,000-ish) and is probably slightly skewed (do the kind of people who stop to take an exit poll make for an representative sample of the overall population? - I doubt it), but some of...
If we ignore, for the moment, the disturbing sight of democracy being vigorously throttled by the self-righteous propaganda of a dogmatic nation and it’s blinkered masses, we can turn our minds to news of an altogether happier, or at least geeker nature. While in L.A. on the way over here, that kind gent Sir Graham of Davies was foolish enough to give me a fine piece of geek-kit in exchange for some Talisker…
Whimsically referred to as the ‘Steam-powered laptop’ it is indeed old, excitingly chunky, strangely green and decidedly retro. I have yet to determine where to put the coal, but nevertheless it seems to be working rather well. Admittedly, I did blunder in and mess up the Windows 98 installation within a few hours of getting it, but this just made installing a more recent operating system necessary instead of merely wise.
The process of upgrading it was rather messy, as it has no CDROM drive, and indeed no built-in anything much except for the basics (mouse, keyboard, floppy drive and 2GB hard disk). I ended up getting a 2.5” to 3.5” drive convertor so that I could slap the laptop drive inside a desktop machine and...
Well, I’ve made it to Wellington, and have even turned up at work full of vim and vigour, or possibly full of something else. Flew in this morning, and although Auckland was worryingly cloudy and damp, there were blue skies over Wellington. This made for some wonderful views as I came in over the Cook Strait. Snow capped mountains on the south island on one side, and the bays of hill-locked Wellington on the other…
Made it to LA with a minimum of fuss. It was actually a quite pleasant flight, with some fine views of Greenland and Canada. Got a bit bored on towards the end, but flying into LA at night makes for a fairly spectacular finale. The only minor problem was getting held up at immigration because I didn’t have any kind of address for Catherine and Graham to put on my immigration card. But then my fingerprints were scanned, my picture taken, the life of my first-born child signed over and they let me in. The fools!
Monster track has to be Wow from Final Straw by Snow Patrol. It really rather hits the mark. In fact the whole album is pretty darned good. Go get it. Spitting Games is also a favourite, if only for the lines:
:My heart is bursting in your perfect eyes
:As blue as oceans and as pure as skies
And Grazed Knees is a bit of a stand-out track too.
Work at EPCC is over and I’ve made it home, stopping off along the way for a family get together at Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest. This has become something of a new tradition for my family despite the nasty flashbacks I get to a primary school play involving me and a pair of rather verdant stockings. Robin Hood has a lot to answer for…